Sunday, August 31, 2008

Artwork Invitation!

Didn't have any takers on this Challenge. August is a TOUGH month. Hopefully September will be better! If you decided to use this sketch, I'd LOVE to see your artwork!

I was inspired by some one-picture layouts that I've seen in leading magazines. I have to admit, I don't do too many one-picture pages. (I have 4 children!) So I thought I would adjust my sketch a little and offer a few other options for pictures. Now my samples don't always "toe-the-line" when it comes to these sketches. I usually make the sketch and then do what you do - create my layout as close to the sketch as possible. I know my sample isn't exactly like the sketch, (My pics were a little too big.) so I adapted a little. Here is my take on the sketch!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Flair

Gold brads are easy-to-use accents that will take a card from plain to PURTY! In this case, I'm using the new colors of Tulip and Sorbet for the "Gift of Love" stamp set and another new color, Juniper, in the "Perfect Day" paper pack. Using the 3D foam squares also makes an easy focal point.

It's easy to add the brads, but don't try to pop them through the paper by themselves. Even thin paper can keep the brad points from popping through and can ruin the "tails" of the brad. Use a paper piercing tool, and awl, or an embroidery needle to start your hole and THEN steer the brad through it.

To get the brad flush against your project, follow this tip. Go ahead and split the "tails," folding them on the back side of the project. Then turn it rightside up. Using the screw of a pair of scissors (the centermost part of the scissors) or a snap setter, firmly push on the top of the brad. This spreads out the "tails" and makes the brad right against the paper.

As for this project, I can't help but think this still needs something. I distressed the striped paper and edged it in gold ink, but it still feels unfinished. I'm just not sure what else to add to it. Maybe I'm just not used to torn and inked edges and this looks too bare compared to that.

Any suggestions you could offer would be most appreciative!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Try it Out Thursday

OHHHHH, CTMH just offered a brand new line! I told you we would have a LOT of opportunities to try new things after August 1! Well in THIS case, I'm so excited to use their new RUB-ONS! They have made 2 different designs and each one comes in 3 colors - black, brown, and white - and you get all three sheets in the one package.

Now I've used rub-ons before. I had to work a blister on my thumb when I was decorating my sister's baby shower gift (an album with pictures and letters from members of her family). It took forever to get the letters to come off of the sheet and some of them had trouble sticking on the album.
This was a totally different experience! I was able to get them on the page quick and easy - even the individual letters. Those individual letters, "GOOD," lined up REALLY well, another thing I thought I would have a problem with. And check out how well the words stand out in a varied background. CTMH hit a homerun with this one! All I can say is, "more, more, more!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mid-week Makeover

This mid-week makeover is a little different. I used one of the CTMH card designs to make a window card and then I recreated it to make a totally different. One of them was pretty expensive, mostly because I used textured cardstock, but I find I like the second one - which was considerably less expensive - better.

Here is the first. I used Desert Sand textured cardstock as the base and a bit of one of the newest CTMH B&Ts from the "Evensong" paper pack as the accent. I held back the folded edges with Cranberry brads (which you can get in bulk, now!) and hung a star from another new stamp set using hemp. The JOY was created using "The Works" stamp set in cranberry and distressed in Desert Sand.

The second is like the first in the design and template, but I used a B&T from the Creative Basic set. If you haven't heard of that set, CTMH puts one out in each book right now and it compliments one of the other paper packs. (In this case, "Evensong.") It offers 12 sheets in each of 2 designs and a roll of ribbon to match it and is especially for card-making.

I also added the darling little snowman from the "Winter Memories" stamp set. It is totally cute. I also added some torn paper on the bottom of the card and tied the green ribbon that came with the set in a knot in the top right corner.
Please send me pictures if you make some cards with this design. I would love to see and post your creations as well!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tuesday Technique

This card is one of the ones I plan to offer at my card-making workshop in October. (See my plans here.) It uses one of my favorite techniques, although I don't know if there is an official name for it.

I used the new "The Season Defined" stamp set that includes some larger words and also definitions of those words in smaller print. I stamped the definitions as the base on this card in twilight and then added the larger words (love this font!) in Outdoor Denim on top of the definitions.

BTW, the snowflake paper is from the new "Aspen" paper pack - my newest favorite!

I tried this technique last year as well, using the words from the "Christmas Scripts" stamp set as the background of the card. I stamped it in the same color as the paper to add a kind of watermark to the card and then added the artwork on top of it. I really liked the variety of fonts and sizes in that stamp set and every project looked totally different.

Monday Momentum

Had a great Open House tonight - and have a bit of artwork to show for it! I love the fact that we get Idea books 3 times a year. There is almost always a reason for a party.

This one was rather low-key. Had a LOT of activity getting ready and holding the retreat a couple of weeks ago and I just had trouble gearing up to make new things. I had the ideas, but my follow-through was a little on the rough side. It was also on a Monday because I just don't have anymore weekend times available. Well, I think I've learned that Monday night is probably not the best time. I had more visitors this weekend, who couldn't come tonight, than I did during the actual event, but I'm not complaining!

Sometimes low-key events provide important opportunities. This night was that type of night. I had some folks come that I'm just beginning to get to know. It was great talking with them and learning again why I love having my own business - the relationships I get to make with people I wouldn't have the opportunity to meet otherwise!

So I'm ready to start this season. Even though most of my customers don't know it, yet, I have 3 workshops planned along with my regular Scrappin' Happy workshops. I also added a second date onto all of the workshops so my customers can have choices. I've got a frame workshop, a talking-ornament workshop, and of course the yearly Christmas card workshop. I'm also thinking of doing a decorative clock workshop, but I haven't wrapped my brain around that one yet.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Momentum

In the fall, moms are superwomen! School starts, sports kick in, and demands from scouts, ballet, church and other areas stretch every minute we have. If you are also in business, the fall is a primary sales time where people are already thinking about the holidays and need your services! Yikes!

I feel your pain! Right now, my business is demanding quite a bit of my time. My personal assistant job also has daily and weekly requirements, but my kids are my priority and school is my own responsibility. Add to that church commitments, volleyball season, football games, and senior activities. Oh, and mix in daily devotions and Bible study, house-cleaning, room painting, garage organizing, and yard work! Then, if there is a spare moment, I can actually find peace and quiet in my bathroom!

Balance is something we all struggle with. This summer, it was so easy to just throw myself into my business and work up project after project for this website, too. It can be fun, but it is unhealthy to be so single-sided. Especially as women, we thrive the best when we have variety.

Women have been multitasking since the dawn of time; we created the action! Have you ever seen a picture of a Native American man in the field or cooking with a papoose on his back??? No, it's the gal! I love how the movies of the 40s and 50s portrayed women and men. Some people think they are degrading to women, but I don't think so. They clearly show that the women is thoroughly capable of taking care of every aspect of life from the broad to the detail. Just because the man sits on the sofa smoking a cigar while she does it doesn't cheapen her image at all! But multitasking isn't a word that women made up! That term was what some man made up in proud success when he learned he could talk on the phone and type on the computer at the same time! For pity's sake, we do that while we're cooking dinner, as we clean out the fridge, and all with a toddler at our ankles and a baby on our hip! - - another good reason to have good balance! :)

It's also important that we take out some time for ourselves. Carve out a little even if it is just a 20-minute bath or arriving extra early for a school pick up and reading a new novel. (Find some shade and kick on the AC!) For me, it's Perry Mason. I know I've seen every one of them 1000 times, but they're simple, light, and don't require my attention. I set aside 1 hour every day for me to eat lunch while I watch Perry Mason. I don't always get to, and sometimes I miss who the murderer is, but with the time set aside - appointed - I can usually get SOME time to just veg.

So my encouragement for this week is to work on your balance. And with that note, I can tell you that I may not be posting quite as often for the next couple of weeks while I work on my own balance. I would be delighted to post some of your artwork or techniques if you are willing to share! Oh I would LOVE THAT! I hope to post at least a couple each week, but priorities being what they are, we'll just have to see!

Blessings on you! :-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Midweek Makeover

This month, the sketch challenge is along the left-hand column. It is a different type of layout for me and as I said in the blurb, I was inspired by some other very popular, single-photo layouts. This is one of them. Please forgive me, though; I don't have the name of the designer to credit! I had saved this in a file just for my own inspiration, and inspire me it has! I wanted to show you what inspired this sketch and my own take on the layout. So if anyone knows from whence this layout came - the website or the designer - please let me know. I really want to always give credit where credit is due!

Now anyone who knows me, knows that I am a self-proclaimed CTMH snob! I have rarely used any other supplies in any of my artwork since I started my business in October of 2004. But for this layout, I ACTUALLY splurged and used some embellishments that my mom got me before my CTMH career started. The blue jean jacket, bandana, and pockets are from Joleyn's. The papers that I used were from a limited edition from last winter. I've had so many comments on the paper that I'm hoping desperately to see it or something like it become part of the regular line! I used paper strips and ribbons to criss-cross the background design. Outdoor Denim organdy, Colonial White, and Outdoor Denim striped ribbon were clipped and sanded to fray. All the paper was sanded and after looking at it, I'm thinking I should add some eyelets or brads in pewter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Retreat Pictures

Oh, you need to see these wonderful ladies! And don't miss looking to the next post to see some samples of the scrapbookig pages these gals made!

We had our tables set in a U-shape with two 8-foot tables in the inside (mushpot).

The "bottom" of the U had Kym, Christy, and Adriane working.

This left leg had Chelsea, Sarah, and Angie. Brandy,
who is pictured below, was also sitting on this leg.
The right leg had Cindy, Julie, Brea, and Kevin creating.

There were 3 gals on the mushpot table. Alissa got excited about stamping and stenciling
in her album for the first time!
Maria worked on her wedding pictures.
Priscilla used the elements of the distressing kit!

We had plenty of room to work AND plenty of room for all our STUFF!

Angie finished her son's graduation album!
Kym used Imagine to make many layouts in her album.

Brandy got so tickled using the Sarsaparilla paper. She taught us all something new. She stamped with the "Legendary" stamp set in white daisy and then again on top of it, stamped again with Barn Red. It gave a real 3D effect.

Christy embellished the tar out of this great baseball layout.

Retreat Artwork

Julie's Art

Cindy's Artwork

Other artwork

Monday, August 11, 2008

Friday Flair

I've mentioned before about my Scrappin' Happy workshops, I think. I use the Cherish or Imagine books for the layout designs (sometimes I even come up with my own!). I compile the double page layouts, adjusting some of the papers and cuts, to fit a 1/2 paper pack.

When my customers come to the workshop, we spend about an hour or less cutting out all of the pieces for the layouts and then we spend another hour or so putting together all of layouts. When we are done with them, they are rather bare, but ready for pictures and the other elements of a scrapbook page.

These are the what the pages often look like when we're through with the workshop.

Now I've completed these pages with some pictures from a storm last spring - ripped part of the roof right off of our church! I've added titling, journaling, and all sorts of embellishments, but, well, the truth is, they are packed with the rest of my supplies for my retreat tomorrow!

Okay - Here are the finished layouts. I used
Dimensional Element Monogram Letters for the L, T, and A on the title. They start out white, but it is easy to ink them up or cover them with paper. I added conches on the top and bottom of the torn cardstock. I was having some trouble keeping it down with adhesive since I had sanded the cardstock. I also added 2 hinges to one side of a picture. To get the texture on the red cardstock, I sanded it thoroughly. Then I crumpled it up and sanded the folds again. On the title, I did all of it before I wrote the title. For the others, I did the crumpling afterward. I prefer the way it looks when I crumple and then write. I even went back and re-wrote some of the journaling. (Which is in the pocket of the large picture mat.) I used Outdoor Denim organdy ribbon across that mat, connected on one end with a picture holder and clipped on the other end with a spiral clip. I hooked the tag onto that clip.

The final thing I did was make a photo flip. I used 4x4 envelopes that I purchased from clearbags.com. First, I stacked them up and centered them on my base. I removed all of the flap tabs, revealing the adhesive and attached them to the base and to one another. I added a 1 1/2 x 4 1/4 strip of matching paper to the top of the envelopes to cover the adhesive. To make sure it stayed down, I added pewter eyelets to all four corners.

Monday Momentum

I'll post pictures in a bit, but while I have a chance, I want to encourage you again to think about planning a retreat for your customers or friends. This weekend was incredible - great inspiration, a fun group of women, and a luxurious hotel! Seriously, if you are in the metroplex, consider retreating at the Hilton Garden Inn in Addison. We felt like we were at a 5-star at 2-star prices! The staff was kind and service oriented. The rooms were large and comfortable. It had a pool, hot tub, and exercise room, and hot breakfasts every morning!

We had a room full of ideas and helpful gals who were willing to demonstrate new ideas and how to work with some of the many machines we had on hand. (We had a long table set up with all of my stamps and inks, 3 different Sissix machines, a Cricut, and a computer with a printer and a Wishblade.) Everyone had a blast and we have 2 more planned!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


In getting ready for my retreat this weekend, I've had to skip a few days of posts - but I want to make up for it.

These instructions are for a box, but I want to tell you ahead of time that I have never made them with cardstock before this time and I wouldn't advise it for you. This box can fit 2 Hershey's kisses perfectly. I'm using it for "pillow chocolates" for my retreaters.

You will need to start with a 5x6" rectangle. Score the 5" side at every inch and score the 6" side at all but the center inch (score at 1, 2, 4, 5 inches). Your rectangle will eventually look like the one below, but it will take some cutting. I'm going to start in the top, left-hand section of this image. First, along the 6" side, cut at the first score mark going in 2 inches. Then cut at the second score mark going in 1 inch. Cut the score line between those two cuts, removing a 1-inch square. (Picture the image as a grid. Each column is labeled with a letter and each row is labeled with a number. You just removed the grid square at 2A.) The final cut in this "quandrant" (that is, this quarter of the image) is along the second scored line on the 5" side. In the image below, you're making the little flap under my thumbnail. You've already cut the top and left side of it with your first few cuts, now you need to cut the right side of it.

Rotate your rectangle (or what is left of it) 180 degrees and repeat the cuts from above on the diagonally opposite corner. Then flip your project upside down and complete the other two corners. All of them should look alike.

Once you have made the primary cuts, you will want to do a little trimming on them. You can see from both the images that the top of the "flap" has been trimmed about 1/8 inch. If you hold your project so that the 5" sides are the top and bottom, the left corner "flap" is at grid square 2B. I also trimmed about the same amount from either end of the long flaps across the top and bottom of the project. Finally, I trimmed the same on both sides of the 2" (non-scored) center sections on the right and left of the project. You can see me doing that part in that second cutting picture.

Once your cuts are made, you need to fold all of the scores. All of them fold inward, except the top and bottom long flaps. They will fold backward as shown in this folding picture. You can see that the top inch is folded inward, but the side flaps both fold backward. The same is done on the bottom.

Now to put the box together, start on the top. Push the side flaps (the short ones at 2B and 2D) to the inside of the inch square at 2C. Fold 1C (the center inch with the 2 long flaps attached to it) over the short flaps. The long flaps will follow; tuck them in to the long sides of your box. Do the same thing on the bottom of the box. You may have to do a little more trimming if some of the sides don't want to fold all the way in.

Once you finish with the top and bottom, the two sides are easy. You will want to put adhesive on both flaps before you fold them in. Mine still had a tendancy to pull out a little since I didn't use any adhesive on the long flaps, but once I put in the candy, there was no problem at all.

This will complete your box bottom. You can cover it a couple of ways. You can make a matchbox slide for it which would require another piece of paper measuring 5 x 2. Basically wrap the paper around it and impress the corners on it. Overlap the last 2 almost-inches and adhere them together.

You can also cover it with another box, but this one is more light weight. I don't have pictures of this one so I'll save it for next week! :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Midweek Makeover

Vicki Churchill is a talented artist! I'm feeling inspired. This card is truly beautiful; you can see it here. The website Url is http://www.vickiscardmakingideas.com/.

This is my version of her card. I made an adjustment to the size of the card. Mine is 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches. I also didn't want to put a sentiment on mine. I like to use my cards as notecards, often without sentiments on the front. I may change my mind on this one, so I did leave an spot where I could put one if I want to.

I used Barn Red ink on "Skeleton Leaves" stamp set for the border around all edges of the card. The cream colored paper in the middle is a B&T from Paper Garden paper pack and the stamps were from the set called, "Nature's Vein" using Bamboo, Petal and Garnet on the left hand leaf, and Honey, Cranberry, and Barn Red on the right hand leaf. I edged the paper with Garnet and finished the card off with a "Autumn Leaf" button. (I love those!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday Momentum

I'm so pumped this week because of my retreat at the end of the week. If you are a consultant and haven't done any retreats, oh PLEASE change that fact and consider doing one as soon as possible.

Going back to last week - as women, we aren't near as much into selling as we are into relationships! This is something I learned about a month ago and have been keeping it at the forefront of my mind! Retreats are a PERFECT place to create and build relationships, and they don't have to be epensive.

First thing to work on is a PLACE. There are all sorts of "Mom&Pop" cabins and retreats that would LOVE to cater to scrap-bookers. Most of these will offer all meals instead of just breakfasts, but there are some which have full kitchens that can save you a lot if you prepare your own food. One of my favorites is the Jadco Retreat about 7 miles north of Whitesboro, TX near Lake Texoma. You can rent it at a flat rate for the weekend (bring your own food) and offers 4 double beds and 1 queen - sleeping 6. We actually figured out that we could use the couch, and a couple of air mattresses and house 12 there instead. Jadco also offers scrap-booking weekends with full meals (delicious!) for a VERY reasonable price.

This weekend, we're going to the Hilton Garden Inn which caters to business travelers. It is a "morgue" on the weekends and they were delighted to bring in our group and gave us a GREAT deal! It includes free hot breakfasts, and plenty of scrapbooking room.

Another thing to think about (depending on your costs) is gifts and giveaways. These little details can really make your guests feel special. I try to do some sort of gift or giveaway after each meal. I also plan (this retreat is the first time I've done it) to do a couple of short classes - having all the supplies ready ahead so I can teach a new technique without taking away from the precious scrapbooking time.

I bring along a few other items: my computer and printer for journaling, my Wishblade for diecutting (and a Cricut from a friend), DVD's of dialogue-driven movies (no silent action because that requires looking up!), and downloaded music and CDs to play on my computer or a CD player. (I get distracted by music, but many gals love it, so I make sure I sit far away from it.)

I found that some gals like diversions. At my last retreat, some of them went into to town to shop for a while (one of them even wore her pajamas! LOL) and this time, we have a pool and hot tub and I'm hoping to arrange for a massage therapist to come in for Saturday afternoon. I also plan to have a couple of little games available for my guests in case they need a break.

So think seriously about retreating - ahhhhhhhhh. (I'll have pics next week and will tell you how it goes!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Flair

On Tuesday, I showed you stamp rolling. I'm going to capitalize on that process and use it for an embellished card today.

First, I added other stamped images to my cardstock. I showed you the one where I used the back of the stamp for a base image and then used the front of it to put in the details with a darker shade. I also just added some other randomly stamped images in my color scheme to make my own card base.

Over the card base, I put torn paper layers. I used a muted "Garden Green" as a pop color since I hadn't used anything near green in the stamping. I also tore a beige printed B&T from the "Paper Garden" set.

Next, I used my "Honey" stamp pad to color a square frame from the Dimensional Elements "Basic" collection. I just laid the square frame on my scratch paper and bounced the stamp pad up and down on it a few times. Then I picked up the square and filled in few of the missed edges with the corner of the stamp pad. I used Barn Red to then stamp one of the "Skeleton Leaves" prints all over the frame, giving it the textured look. I used chocolate "Waxy Flax" to wrap around it. I was going to just stick it on the back of the frame with a dot of "Liquid Glass," but I liked the way the knot looked instead. All of this I put down with adhesive, "Glue Dots." I found one of the Autumn Leaves buttons to go in the center of the frame, but I cut the button hole off of it before trying to put it on. I adhered it with a 3D foam square and finished the project with a length of Goldrush Organdy ribbon, tied in a bow.